The Whitesmiths–Impasse des Carmelites

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834 - 1903)
Historical period(s)
1894
Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 21.9 x 16.2 cm (8 5/8 x 6 3/8 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1906.169
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Lithograph

Keywords
architecture, United States, work
Provenance

From at least 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), from at least 1906 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Lithographs, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Also, according to Curatorial Remark 2, G.D.G., 1921, in the object record: "No record existing of the time of purchase, the print was given a registration number for 1906, the year of the printed Inventory."

[2] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919

Label

Whistler's lithograph of whitesmiths, or tinsmiths, was drawn in a narrow cul-de-sac near the Luxembourg Gardens, a few blocks from his studio. Once wealthy, the neighborhood was taken over by small manufacturing shops after the French Revolution. Here, as in many of his Venice etchings, Whistler notes the incongruity of a modest shop occupying a grand building. The tall pillars, wide projecting cornice, and high dome of the building frame the rude sawhorses of the tinsmiths, suggesting the impotence of human desire--how far have the mighty fallen!

Published References
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 289.
  • The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler. 2 vol., Chicago and New York, 1998. pp. 438-443.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum